Wednesday, January 23, 2013

How About a Wine Tasting Party?

Do you have friends who are also winos? Friends who you want to convert to winos? Now that the hectic pace of the holidays has past - how about a wine tasting get together? One option I really enjoy is to have a "pot luck" wine tasting where guests bring bottles of wine - and I especially enjoy giving my guests a challenge by providing a theme.  Themes can be geeky like non French Bordeaux blends, or wines from bio-dynamic wineries - but unless your entire guest list are ultra-geeky - then how about a fun, but just as challenging theme?  You and your guests will get to try some interesting wines, tell a fun story about why they picked the wine they brought - and overall just have a great time!
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Here are some ideas you may like, or that may get you thinking about a unique theme of your own:

Wines with a Movie or TV Connection. This is a favorite theme of mine and I'm always hopeful that a guest will bring a bottle of two of the 1972 Petrus that Denzel Washington sipped in Safe House, but no luck so far. The wine can be featured in a movie or TV show, winery owned by a movie or TV star, a movie or TV star's favorite wine - lots of possibilities including these:
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Bottle Shock - The Movie
  • Bottle Shock (a total wine geek movie - I love it!) - Chateau Montelana Chardonnay.
  • The Kids are Alright - Fiddlehead, Seavey, or Amorosa wines.
  • Fess Parker Wines - He played Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone on TV!!!
  • Mario Batali's La Mozza Wines. He cooks, he owns a winery - MY HERO!!
  • Lorraine Bracco's Bracco Wines. After surviving being Tony Sopranos psychiatrist, she moved on to another career!
Wines with Funny Names.  A theme can be as simple as finding wines with goofy names. Perhaps a prize for the goofiest? Here are some examples to get you going:
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  • Mommy's Time Out Wine.  Not sure if they make a Daddy's time out, but if not may I suggest Glenmorangie or Laphroig?
  • Bitch Wine.  Actually a pretty good Australian Grenache.
  • Broke Ass Wine. Enough said!
  • Suckfizzle Wine. I have officially added this word to my vocabulary - for more than just wine.
  • For this last one, I'll just give you the label. This wine was made a few years ago, so unfortunately no longer available - but it gives you an idea of the humor that is out there amongst all those wine bottles (say the name slowly out loud):
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Wines with a Sports Connection. Wine and Sports together - what could be better?  A great idea for a different spin on a Superbowl party - wine can even go with nachos and buffalo chicken wings!

  • Mario Andretti Wines. Dude can drive, and makes great wines including a fantastic Sangiovese from Napa Valley.
  • Mike Ditka Wines. Daaa Bears!
  • Wayne Gretzky No. 99 Estates Riesling. Maybe an "Ice" wine in the future. (Sorry for the wine geek Bazinga!)
  • Coyote Canyon Wines. Since the NHL is up and running again, I had to have one for my Coyotes - but a mascot reference is a great idea as well.
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Wines with Suggestive Names.  For a more adult and risqué theme - perhaps some like these:
  • Menage a Trois from Folie a Deux Winery.  Three's company?
  • 69 Ways to Have Fun from Three Brothers Wineries. Perhaps a bit more than suggestive - their description of the wine is "Like the long-lost bra left under the strip poker table, this floral wine is best served under wraps and slowly uncovered.  Once in play, it's sure to keep the momentum going.  We dare you to count the ways that you can have fun."
  • Foreplay Chardonnay from Naked Cellars. Their tagline is "We aim to Tease!"
  • Love my Goat from Bully Hill Wines. Well...maybe this one isn't such a good idea.
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Wines that Made You Think of Your Host.  Use this one if you are brave and thick skinned enough to see what sort of wines your guests will bring.  For extra torture, when a guest brings a wine you can try to first guess why they chose the wine they did, before they explain. Again - only if you are very brave!!!

These are just a few ideas - I'm sure there are a ton of others. Please let us know what you come up with as an idea for a creative wine tasting party that challenges your guests to pick an appropriate bottle to share.

Enjoy!

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